AUTHORITIES in York need to "be a little bit brave and hold their nerve" to improve safety in York, a senior officer has said.

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick made the announcement in an address to the Safer York Partnership Crime Summit yesterday (FRI), which included representatives from City of York Council, residents' associations, parish councillors and other groups dedicated to making York a safer city.

Mr Madgwick told the meeting that crime in general was down in the city, though burglary and anti-social behaviour (ASB), was still a concern, and working with the council and local communities was the best hope Safer York Partnership had to reduce crime further.

He said: "I think we need to be brave as a partnership, as a community and as a service.

"Progress (made in recent years) is not just because of police, but because as a partnership we have done the right thing, and the challenge going forward is doing the right thing over the next three to five years. There are still groups and people in the city who are being abused on a daily basis. We have racism in the city and domestic violence, and it still goes on."

Mr Madgwick said he hoped concerns about funding would not be a hurdle to helping keep communities safe, and said innovative ways around problems needed to be found - which may include the Chief Constable issuing powers to council officers to deal with ASB at a similar level to PCSOs.

He said: "Funding is a challenge but we should never use that as an excuse for not doing anything. There is a danger we start talking about very small sums of money and talking too much about what we do and getting into a state of inertia.

"There have been too many excuses not to do things in the past. People have to be a little bit brave and hold their nerve. We should be talking about quality of service to communities, doing the right thing trying to solve issues and working with partners. I need to be prepared for my officers to be led by someone from the local authority if that is the right thing to do."